Pompeyo survived an awkward landing at the final hurdle to set a course record and beat All Gong by three lengths Friday in the $185,875 Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings at Keeneland. The Chilean-bred 7-year-old ran 2 1/2 miles over 13 national fences in 4:34 2-5. The previous record was 4:36, set by Lonesome Glory in the 1999 Royal Chase. Ridden by Gus Brown, Pompeyo won his second race of the year and fourth in a row.
"It's just fun for him, and he knows he's good at it," said Brown. "He's a very 'mental' horse. He likes to feel good about himself if he knows what he's doing."
Rand, a hurdle horse from New Zealand who raced in Japan as recently as April 14, finished third in the 10-horse field, a length behind All Gong.
Masamadas fell at the 11th fence, fracturing his right leg, and was euthanized on the turf course. Jockey Cyril Murphy was not injured.
Pompeyo earned $111,525 for George Strawbridge Jr.'s Augustin Stable. The winner paid $7.80, $3.80 and $3 as the second choice in the wagering. All Gong, North America's champion steeplechase horse last year, returned $3.20 and $2.80. Rand paid $4.80.